ISO Auto or Manuel?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TimJim, May 3, 2008.

  1. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #1
    Do you guys use ISO Auto on your DSLR or manual settings?
    I've been switching be Auto will a max ISO of 1600 and manuel mode on my Nikon D80 and i can't choose which one to stick with.
     
  2. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #2
    The Auto ISO mode is very useful to me. It can prevent the camera from underexposing a shot at high ISO, underexposing while using an aperture that is too small or a shutter speed that is unreasonably-fast, and from using a shutter speed that is too slow for handheld shooting.
     
  3. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #3
    *Away, in a manger…*

    I don't like Auto ISO because it often pushes too high too fast. I'm more willing to give up some on the speed or aperture side before yielding to noise… I hate noise…

    It becomes very obvious to me if I need to up the ISO; usually I catch it before it's an issue.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #4
    I prefer to adjust ISO manually. It's probably more important with an older camera, like mine, where the high-ISO performance can be less than stellar.
     
  5. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    Oct 19, 2003
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    Vancouver
    #5
    I use a D80 (I think camera is very important in this discussion; I want to make sure we're comparing oranges to oranges).

    I used to be terrified of boosting the ISO, coming from digicam use. Just this last few months I have enabled Auto ISO and been very happy with the work.

    I find I work best with Auto ISO enabled, but I'm very fast to turn it off if I have any time. I've been doing a lot of street photography lately, and I find with that its best to let the camera do what it wants on the first shot, and I can change things for the second shot; otherwise what I'm trying to get gets away.

    As far as high ISO, when exposed properly I have been very happy with the restults.

    Here's an example, Auto ISO, shot 1600 on my D80 that I don't find the noise distracting:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    I just set my camera to 400. I lower it if possible and make higher if need be. It's just a habit now that I don't need an Auto mode.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #7
    I just set my minimum shutter speed to 1/50th seconds so that the ISO doesn't increase until I get to that low a shutter speed.

    I was afraid of using it, but even my ISO 3200 shots taken indoors using Auto ISO aren't bad. I guess I could have taken some of the shots (of static objects) at ISO 2000 and used a slower shutter speed, but I wouldn't have known that before I shot it, and the noise isn't a problem at ISO 2000 or 3200.

    I'm not one to be scared of noise, though. It all looks bad on your computer screen, but not so bad when you print it. I think the fear of noise is overrated. Just shoot, and get the job done.
     
  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #8
    I think there's some good advice in this. Certainly back in the days of film you had to deal with "noise" any time you shot with high-speed film. But with digital cameras we're becoming conditioned to the idea that even small amounts of noise is bad.

    One of my favorite personal photos is has a bit of noise in it. It used to really bug me. But then I discovered that no one else notices the noise; just me. :p
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    But even in the film days you could offset some of it by (a) shooting at a lower ISO (all those "ISO 3200 films" really had a base ISO of 800 with a two stop push in development- if you did that push the grain was more noticeable than if you didn't, I always shot Delta 3200 and its Kodak equivalent at EI 800,) (b) by using a staining developer (PMK was my developer of choice, Noise Ninja is certainly less toxic,) and finally, (c) film grain has enough randomness in it that it's more pleasing to the eye than lots of sensor noise is.

    Sure, lots of people worry too much, but it's not like lots of photographers haven't been trying to minimize noise since high-ISO shooting became popular and went beyond the novelty of "I can shoot in candle light!"
     
  10. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #10
    What camera do you have? If I remember correctly you have a D300, right?

    Because in my D40x, using an ISO above 1600 starts producing a lot of noise. I normally prefer to stay below 800. I have never used Auto ISO, but maybe I'll give it a try.
     
  11. sonor macrumors 6502

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    Jan 15, 2008
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    London, UK
    #11
    I use Auto ISO quite a lot and it's usually very helpful. Just recently I've tried using it when I'm in Manual mode - I choose both aperture and shutter speed and my D200 selects the appropriate ISO.
     
  12. TimJim thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2007
    #12
    One thing i hate, is when your in Manuel mode, it doesn't automatically change to ISO manuel which is very very annoying for me.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Of course the picture does not show much noise. It has been down sampled to "web resolution". Down sampling an image always has the effect of hiding noise and many other defects. To show off how good your 1600 ISO images are you will have to post full resolution files.

    This can be used to advantage. If you know you are shooting for on-screen viewing you don't need to worry to much about noise or even if the lens is very sharp.

    What lens did you use for this? THere is quite a lot of barrel distortion
     
  14. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #14
    You could always click through the link if you were that interested...

    The 18-55 that comes with my wife's D40. y, wide open like that there is a fair bit of distortion, especially when I'm what close.
     
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #15
    TimJim, I tried to allude to this earlier, but it's "manual", not "manuel". Manuel is a name that makes me think of the Scripture (although a quick google search tells me this is my mind drifting), not a camera setting.
     
  16. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    In the UK I imagine most people associate Manuel with this...

    http://www.fawltysite.net/manuel.htm

    I prefer choosing the ISO myself. I don't like leaving it to chance as to what setting the camera is going to choose. This is also the way I'm used to working.
     
  17. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #17
    You can beat me up later for this... but who is this Manuel you speak of? :)


    Manuel/Manual
     
  18. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #18
    A lot of people on DPR were proponents of auto-ISO on the D2H, but I never bit on that because that camera tended to be rather noisey if one wasn't careful - I preferred to control ISO myself.

    On the D3, I've found I have little fear of noise up to ISO 6400, so I do often turn auto-ISO on and set it with a minimum shutter speed of 1/150 and a max ISO of 6400. Working great for me so far.

    Bottom line, I think the use of auto-ISO depends on your camera's noise characteristics, and your tolerance for noise in your images.
     

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